Former Board of Regents president and Arizona Republican Party Chairman John Munger filed nearly 9,000 signatures with the Secretary of State’s Office, enough to qualify him for the ballot in his primary challenge to Gov. Jan Brewer.
Munger, a Tucson attorney, submitted the 8,759 signatures on May 17, one day before the special election on Proposition 100. Munger excoriated Brewer for her long-running support of the temporary one-cent sales tax increase, saying the $428 million in education cuts that will be triggered if the ballot measures fails is an unnecessary scare tactic she is using to drum up public support.
“She is making this plan as draconian as possible for one purpose, and that is for her own personal, political gain. She needs to win the approval of Proposition 100 in order to have any chance at all of winning the election,” Munger said while speaking to reporters on May 17.
Munger touted his budget plan, which he said balances the budget without tax hikes through cuts and borrowing. The Brewer administration has labeled his plan as unrealistic.
In addition to the tax hike, Munger lashed out at Brewer over her opposition to H2250, known to supporters as the jobs bill. The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Kirk Adams, would’ve cut business taxes across the board starting in 2014.
“I don’t think Jan Brewer understands economics. I don’t think her advisors understand economics. I think that it is one of the underlying principles of economics that you cut taxes to grow jobs. You raise taxes, you kill jobs,” Munger said.
Brewer’s fortunes have risen over the past couple months, especially since signing S1070, Arizona’s strict new illegal immigration law. Munger, who has been in third or fourth place in nearly every poll conducted on the governor’s race, said Brewer is getting too much credit for signing someone else’s bill and said her inflated polling numbers will drop as the election nears.
“She’s going to get the normal post-legislative bump from signing bills she had nothing to do with,” Munger said. “I don’t give her kudos for signing bills that somebody else put in front of her.”
Brewer should’ve have ordered the Arizona National Guard to the border when she took office, Munger said. Brewer has demanded federal action on the border, but said a National Guard deployment is not feasible because the state can’t afford the $30 million a year it would cost.
Munger submitted several thousand more than the 5,617 needed to get his name on the ballot for the Aug. 24 primary. He collected collected enough signatures qualify for the ballot in Coconino, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima and Santa Cruz counties.
The deadline for filing signatures is May 24. Brewer, Munger and Attorney General Terry Goddard, the presumptive Democratic nominee, have all filed their signatures. State Treasurer Dean Martin and businessman Buz Mills, both of whom are challenging Brewer in the primary, have not yet filed.